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€63k lifeline for artist who had fingers hacked off in knife attack

AN auction to raise funds for an artist whose fingers were hacked off in a brutal robbery at her home has raised €63,795.

Alexandra Trotsenko (pictured with Joe Duffy and her husband James Kelly) has thanked the Irish people for changing her life after the stunning show of generosity.

The Russian native was left for dead by James Kenny who used knives on her 'like a butcher' in the attack over two years ago.

Without health insurance or a medical card, the 39-year-old artist was told by doctors it would cost €10,000 for prosthetic fingers to replace the ones she lost.

After Kenny was jailed this month, her plight was championed by Joe Duffy's Liveline with a flood of support coming from the art community.

And an "Art for Alexandra" auction held by White's auctioneers in Blackrock yesterday has ensured that she will now be able to afford the surgery.

"For almost two years I was left without attention from the State. I was feeling bad and depressed but you changed my life. This has made a huge difference," said Ms Trotsenko.

More than 200 works by artists including Robert Ballagh, Jane O'Malley and Markey Robinson went under the hammer. The highest bid was €5,200 for a bronze sculpture by Paddy Campbell. A guitar signed by artist Rasher raised €2,600.

One piece donated by RTE presenter Mr Duffy sold for €620, who said afterwards the event was "wonderful and emotional", adding that it was callers to his show who came up with the idea. "It is a great gesture by the Irish people, very moving."

Ms Trotsenko said she hoped to work as an artist again.

"Hopefully I will draw again. I can't wait for that, but I thank the people who donated work, the people who saved my life and wanted to help," she said.